EU invites proposals for new long-distance train services
The European Commission is inviting proposals for new cross-border, long-distance rail services around the continent.
The initiative is part of the commission’s Rail Action Plan to boost long-distance and cross-border train passenger services in Europe, which was first launched in late 2021.
The invitation to submit pilot plans for these rail services was officially opened last week during Connection Europe Days held in Lyon.
Adina Valean, European commissioner for transport, explained: “If more people are to choose sustainable modes of transport such as rail, it must become an attractive option for long and cross-border journeys.
“We need more cross-border rail connections, they must be faster and more affordable. Today, cross-border rail still faces obstacles to the operation and introduction of new services.
“These pilot projects are part of our strategy to break down these remaining barriers, and I hope that the industry will get on board without delay.”
The commission is looking for cross-border pilot train services which can either be new services or plans to make existing connections “faster, more frequent and more affordable”.
Proposals can be submitted up to 31 October 2022, with the commission offering support by “facilitating contact between the relevant stakeholders and by providing assistance”.
Projects will then be evaluated with the results announced by January 2023.